Cargo, the often overlooked “gold in the hold” for many airlines and airports, is important to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), which now handles close to 800,000 tons of freight yearly.
Indeed, around 66% of all airfreight shipments handled in Texas pass through DFW and annual tonnage figures continue to soar – rising 8% in 2016 and showing a healthy year-on-year upturn of 18% in the opening months of 2017.
And with cargo believed to account for 50% of DFW’s annual economic impact of $37 billion to the North Texas region, the gateway is more than aware of the potential for future development.
Today, 14 dedicated freighters serve 22 major cargo hubs throughout Asia, Europe and North America from DFW.
Airlines launching new all-cargo services at DFW in 2016 included Qatar Cargo (Liége-DFW-Liége-Doha); Qantas Freight (Sydney-Chongqing-Beijing-DFW); and Air Canada Cargo (Hamilton-Mexico City-DFW-Hamilton).
Over the last two years DFW has experienced the biggest increase in truck-to-air volumes at a US airport, it attributes the rise in tonnage to the airport’s close proximity of Mexico.
The airport is quick to note that it also offers valuable bellyhold cargo space to more than 200 destinations across the globe courtesy of the 26 passenger airlines serving DFW.
All add up to a wide range of shipments being handled at the airport, although to date it is not really equipped to handle significant amounts of perishables. However, all this is about to change as DFW will shortly begin the installation of a cold chain facility that will be operated by AirLogistix USA.
Expected to be operational this summer, the state-of-the-art transfer facility will give DFW the ability to precisely control warehousing temperatures for shipments of pharmaceuticals, flowers and fresh foods.
Open 24 hours a day, the new 37,000 square feet complex will boast 15,000 square feet of refrigeration space that includes three separate temperature zones, a refrigerated dock with truck doors and a dedicated Pharma cooler.
“There are tremendous growth opportunities for domestic and international cargo customers to ship perishables through DFW to 180 markets,” enthuses John Ackerman, executive vice president of global strategy and development at DFW.
“We are very excited to partner with AirLogistix USA on a cold chain facility at the airport. This new facility will increase our handling capabilities and open new doors for all our cargo and logistics partners to ship high-value, temperature and time sensitive products through DFW.”
Ray Brimble, president and CEO of Lynxs Group, owner of AirLogistix USA, has no doubt that the new complex will prove a shrewd investment.
“Dallas/Fort Worth is a natural choice for us to further develop AirLogistix USA ‘middle mile’ on-airport perishables handling services,” he says.
“DFW has the advantage of being located in the central US, which helped drive our expansion into North Texas. We look forward to working with all airlines that serve the airport.
“Our facility will be available to distributors and forwarders who need to keep their perishable and temperature sensitive goods cool during shipping, with particular emphasis on transit through the airport. We are ready to get started at DFW.”
AirLogistix DFW works as a sub-contractor for airlines, handlers, freight forwarders and shippers to seamlessly connect the airport portion of the cold chain to the rest of the supply chain.